What Do Interviewers Really Want to Hear From You?

John Krautzel
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After interviewing candidate after candidate with so-so responses and sub-par enthusiasm, hiring managers tend to get discouraged with the possibilities. By knowing what potential employers want to hear, you can be that breath of fresh air at the job interview, providing just the right answers to show the hiring manager that you're the right person for the job. Consider these six phrases that are music to an employer's ears.

1. "I Know All About Your Organization"

Hiring managers want to know that you did your research prior to the interview. Peruse the company's website, learn about the products and services, read bios of the top players, and scan news articles that name the organization.

2. "I'm Familiar With the Job Description"

Show the hiring manager that you reviewed the position description prior to the job interview and understand the requirements to be successful in the job. This shows that you're there for the interview because you know you're a good fit for the organization.

3. "I'm Flexible"

Hiring managers appreciate employees who are agreeable and adapt to change easily. You might need to work alone on a project and join a group of colleagues the next day. During the job interview, talk about a previous instance when you rose to a challenge and adjusted to changes in your work environment or habits.

4. "I Am a Loyal Employee"

Demonstrate for the hiring manager that you're a dedicated employee that sticks around for the long-term. Use the job interview as an opportunity to talk about your previous employers and the length of time you spent with each. Avoid badmouthing any past employer, boss or colleague. Ask about the opportunity for advancement with the hiring organization to show you're in for the long haul.

5. I Know How to Take Direction"

Hiring managers want employees who can hit the ground running without a lot of hand-holding from management. Use your job interview as a chance to talk about a time when you worked independently on a project that required a great deal of responsibility. Tell the hiring manager how you're able to start a task immediately after hearing instructions once, and talk about your ability to learn new processes quickly.

6. "Thank You for the Opportunity"

Always finish the job interview by showing your appreciation for the hiring manager's time. Thank every person on the interview panel personally. Follow up with an email or handwritten note thanking the hiring manager again and expressing your desire to continue the conversation in the future.

While your goal at any job interview is to be authentic and honest, it's still important to play to the hiring manager's preferences and the organization's needs. Remember to work these key phrases that hiring managers want to hear into the conversation.

Photo courtesy of franky242 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Robin K thanks for your comment. How did you feel after the interview? Did you feel like it went well? Did you ask for the next steps? Did you follow up with a thank you note? Since your interview, have you called to find out the status of the position? Or emailed if you have the hiring manager's email? It could be that they are just slow on making a decision. Have you seen the position posted on other job sites. It's hard to say why, for sure, this is happening. Try some of these steps and see if you can't find out. Could simply be @Robin that they found a more qualified applicant or even that they filled the position from in-house. Only way to know for sure is to get in touch.

  • Robin K.
    Robin K.

    I have been on several interviews and have done what has been suggested but no second interviews or job offers. It gets a little discouraging. I am still looking for a new job.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Richard Al L. thanks for your comment. So very true. Eye to eye contact is very important. As is posture as well as the tone of your voice. All of this is important. But the most important, as you said, is confidence and being prepared. All the best on your next interview.

  • Richard Al L.
    Richard Al L.

    lack of eye to eye contact. One needs to show confidence in them selves.

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